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  Section: Edible Plant Species
 
 
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Edible Plant Species

 
     
 
Quercus aegilops Linn. Cupuliferae (Fagaceae). CAMATA OR CAMATINA OAK. VALONIA OAK.
South Europe and Syria.
The cups, known as valonia, are used for tanning and dyeing as are the unripe acorns called camata or camatina. The ripe acorns are eaten raw or boiled.


Q. agrifolia Nee. CALIFORNIA FIELD OAK.
The acorns are eaten by the Indians.


Q. alba Linn. WHITE OAK.
Northeast America.
The dried acorns are macerated in water for food by the natives on the Roanoke. Acorns were dried and boiled for food by the Narragansetts. Oak acorns were mixed with their pottage by the Indians of Massachusetts. Baskets full of parched acorns, hid in the ground, were discovered by the Pilgrims December 7, 1620. White oak acorns were boiled for "oyl" by the natives of New England. The fruit of some trees is quite pleasant to the taste, especially when roasted.


Q. cerris Linn. TURKISH OAK.
Europe and the Orient.
The trees are visited in August by immense numbers of a small, white coccus insect, from the puncture of which a saccharine fluid exudes and solidifies in little grains. The wandering tribes of Kurdistan collect this saccharine secretion by dipping the branches on which it forms into hot water and evaporating to a syrupy consistence. In this state, the syrup is used for sweetening food or is mixed with flour to form a sort of cake.


Q. coccifera Linn. KERMES OAK.
Mediterranean region.
The acorns were used as food by the ancients.


Q. cornea Lour.
China.
The acorns are used for food. Loudon says the acorns are ground into a paste in China, which, mixed with the flour of corn, is made into cakes.


Q. cuspidata Thunb.
Japan.
This species is enumerated by Thunberg among the edible plants of Japan.


Q. emoryi Torr.
Western North America.
This tree furnishes acorns, which are used by the Indians of the West as a food.


Q. garryana Dougl. WESTERN OAK.
Western North America.
The acorns furnish the Indians with food and are stored by them for future use.


Q. ilex Linn. BALLOTA, BELLOOT OR BELOTE OAK. HOLLY OAK.
Mediterranean region and the Orient.
From varieties of this tree, says Mueller, are obtained the sweet and nourishing ballota and chestnut acorns. Figuier says this species is common in the south of France, and that the acorns are sweet and eatable. Brandis says the acorns form an important article of food in Spain and Algeria. The acorns are eaten in Barbary, Spain and Portugal under the name of belote. In Arabia, also, they are eaten cooked, and an oil is extracted from them. In Palestine, they are sold in all the bazaars.


Q. lobata Nee. CALIFORNIA WHITE OAK.
California.
The acorns form a large proportion of the winter food of the Indians of North California The acorns, from their abundance and edible nature, form a very important part of the subsistence of the Digger Indians and are collected and stored for winter use.


Q. michauxii Nutt. BASKET OAK. COW OAK.
North America.
The large, sweet, edible acorns are eagerly devoured by cattle and other animals.


Q. oblongifolia Torr. EVERGREEN OAK. LIVE OAK.
California and New Mexico.
This species furnishes the Indians of the West with acorns for food use.


Q. persica Jaub. et Spach. MANNA OAK.
Persia.
The acorns are eaten in southern Europe and, in southern Persia, afford material for bread. The leaves also furnish a manna. In olden times, as we read in Homer and Hesiod, the acorn was the common food of the Arcadians. There is, however, much reason to suppose that chestnuts, which were named in the times of Theophrastus and Dioscorides Jupiter acorns and Sardian acorns, are often alluded to when we read of people having lived on acorns in Europe; and, in Africa, dates are signified, because they were likewise called by Herodotus and Dioscorides acorns and palm-acorns. Bartholin says that in Norway acorns are used to furnish a bread. During a famine in France, in 1709, acorns were resorted to for sustenance. In China, the fruits of several species of oak are used as food for man, and a kind of curd is sometimes made from the ground meal. Oak bark is pounded by the Digger Indians of California and used as food in times of famine.


Q. phellos Linn. WILLOW OAK.
Eastern States of North America. T
he acorns are edible.


Q. prinus Linn. CHESTNUT OAK.
Northeastern America.
The fruit is sweet and abundant.


Q. robur Linn. BLACK OAK. TRUFFLE OAK.
Europe and western Asia.
Varieties are mentioned by Tenore as bearing edible acorns. This species yields a manna-like exudation in Kurdistan. Hanbury says a saccharine substance called diarbekei manna, is found upon the leaves of the dwarf oaks about Smyrna, from which it is collected by the peasants, who use it instead of butter in cooking their food. The taste is saccharine and agreeable.


Q. suber Linn. CORK OAK.
South Europe and northern Africa.
Bosc alleges that its acorns may be eaten in cases of necessity, especially when roasted. This species was distributed from the Patent Office in 1855.


Q. undulata (gambelii X turbinella) Ton. ROCKY MOUNTAIN SCRUB OAK.
California.
The acoms are sweet and edible.


Q. virginiana Mill. LIVE OAK.
Eastern North America.
Eastern Indians consumed large quantities of the acorns and also obtained from them a sweet oil much used in cookery.
 
     
 
 
     



     
 
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